Re: Soldering gun or iron


No way I was going to leave this alone…

First advice, don’t listen to any ONE on this list, nor or any other list of any nature…never one….try it yourself…try multiple ways, and stick with what works for you.

So, with that said, here’s mine…

Get a temperature controlled solder station…that doesn’t mean 4 detents with 4 temps….that means 0 degrees to 700+ F with ability to pick your temp….as you always want lowest temperature that will work for the job….similar to radio….lowest watts out needed to do the job…but, with ability just like radio….to blast it when needed…and fast….

I have a solder station that is a replacement for the exact same model….one stolen back in 1995 (along with scope, NTSC generator, freq counter….everything except my fluke….I am still using it daily….from MCM (called something different now)….last I checked they started selling it again, as customers complained when it was discontinued. Cost when I checked last was about $70.  Tips got good back in the 90’s if you treat them right….I am using a tip from 1995 daily….very fine conical tip….will do almost anything….just slide up the barrel…

I recently bought one of these 2 in one hot air and solder rework stations….862D+….got mine for $49….most go from 60 to 65.  I broke the soldering iron (shame it worked great, but when it fell out the car, it snapped in half), found out the element isn’t ceramic, but is nichrome….and first replacement isn’t right)  the hot air works great, temperature tracks with a harbor freight thermocouple (so you know it has to be good)….my little builders group has been playing with this with manual pick and place, that is drivable….use a bicycle pump shell for z-axis, and steer with the T-handle, vacuum is a Tetra-whisper aquarium pump, and add a $30 USB camera (was daily special)…..a tube of MG solder paste, took off the nozzle and replace with smaller diameter nozzle off of empty flux refill bottle, and then used another of those empty bottle nozzles for the syringe pick up tube (luer lock) …..

if you want to see what we are doing go to Facebook Group: wecanhams 

this is latest with hot air/with no rework with pencil:

this one is a short video of the pick and place in action….with USB camera…I have made some improvements like 2 point clamps on the red tube and a recessed pick area...

Important to have a way to monitor the board temperature if you are using hot air or a reflow oven, and run a recognized heat profile…takes a little practice...

the latest hot air placement with no rework, paste was laid down with syringe, a little dab will do ya...

the rework station bolted down, before accessories added to new home. We are working with a lot of junk and recycled, up cycled junk.

Drivable Pick and Place in action, see the video on FB group

Our little builders group is having a blast with SMD’s….you should, too. 


On Mar 16, 2018, at 6:36 PM, Michael Hagen <motdog@...> wrote:

Great Place for Solder and SMD Supplies!

72's Mike, WA6ISP

On 3/16/2018 3:27 PM, Roy Appleton wrote:
I don't do a lot of SMD projects and so I don't use a mask just manually apply the solder paste from a syringe that the paste came in. My advice is that you can't have too small a nozzle. In the attached photo I use the cone shaped one because the black one is too big. You'd be surprised how little paste you need before you make a big mess! My source for paste isn't available any more so don't have any suggestions but I'm sure it's not hard to find sources.


On Mar 16, 2018 2:04 PM, "Christopher Miller" <djmalak2k6@...> wrote:
How do you apply the paste? I dont have a way to create a mask for a pcb. You also make a good point. If you have a heat gun you can use shrink wrap. Thats a great reason to get a hot air rework station with an iron.

Mike Hagen, WA6ISP
10917 Bryant Street
Yucaipa, Ca. 92399
(909) 918-0058
PayPal ID  "MotDog@..."

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